HYDERABAD: Justice K Lakshman of the Telangana High Court reserved orders in a plea filed by Enforcement Directorate (ED) challenging the orders passed by the ED Special Court, Hyderabad, which had refused judicial remand of Kamma Srinivas Rao, director of Ranchi Expressways Ltd (REL).
A case has been filed against him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and REL is a subsidiary of Madhucon Construction Company.
Additional Solicitor General T Surya Karan Reddy informed the court that the trial court was under an erroneous impression that ED police too have to follow Section 41-A of the Criminal Procedure Code just like the regular police and the special judge for the ED cases refused to send Srinivas Rao to judicial remand.
He also said that Srinivas Rao’s arrest was made under PMLA and all requirements under that law has been fulfilled. The counsel for ED contended that the case against Srinivas Rao pertains to funds embezzlement which happened in Jharkhand. A four-lane road expansion work from Ranchi to Jamshedpur was entrusted to Madhucon Projects Ltd. The said company floated a special purpose firm called REL for completing the work. It availed huge loans from banks but did not show any progress in works till 2017.
After which, Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) filed a report saying that Madhucon and REL have diverted `264 crore NHAI funds without taking up the roadwork. Based on the report, the Jharkhand High Court ordered a CBI probe into the scam. Central Bureau of Investigation booked a case against REL and its director Kamma Srinivas Rao.
When he was summoned by the ED and asked about the diversion of funds, he claimed that the money was paid to sub-contractors. After questioning him, the ED officials came to the conclusion that the company siphoned off the public money with the help of bogus invoices.
Additional Solicitor General urged the court to set aside the order of the trial court. After hearing the arguments at length, Justice Lakshman reserved orders.